Deathloop PC Game Review – Arkane’s Most Enjoyable Game Yet?
For this Deathloop PC game review, I’ll go over the gameplay, the setting, the characters, and the similarities between this title and Arkane’s previous cult classics.
I went into this game thinking “Is this going to be a lot like Dishonored?”, and the answer turned out more complicated than expected. Arkane seems to be mocking their own previous titles in Deathloop, which seems to ignore their previous gameplay formulas and focus on straightforward and chaotic fun.
Some will like that direction, others won’t, but it’s Arkane’s most forgiving title and arguably most fun one. But let’s break it all down and see what the studio famous for stealthy teleporting assassination did with time travel.
- 1 Introduction to Deathloop’s strange time-loop
- 2 (Sometimes) Planned chaos
- 3 A familiar set of tools and abilities
- 4 The time travel shenanigans
- 5 Deathloop’s PvP with Julianna
- 6 Conclusion of this Deathloop PC game review
- 7 Where to find the cheapest Deathloop PC game key
Introduction to Deathloop’s strange time-loop
When I started playing the Deathloop PC version, I was quite amazed by the presentation. And confused. It happens in these time-traveling titles. The game’s set in an alternate reality, in the 1970s where one day keeps repeating constantly.
Arkane Studios puts us in the shoes of Colt Vahn, a mysterious amnesiac that’s also stuck on this eerie island. What does he do? Well, he tries to murder everyone and anyone he comes across of course. What did you expect? This Arctic island only has one kind of resident, and that’s batshit insane and murderous. Actors, scientists, people with tons of influence and power are relishing their constant stream of neverending entertainment.
As you can tell, Deathloop isn’t as grim as Dishonored or Prey. It moves away from the bleak and brutal themes and goes into a lighthearted mayhem-infused island full of cuckoo-crazy people’s territory. But, how do you get away? By taking on a very pretentious organization called AEON.
This murder party doesn’t stop unless you kill eight Visionaries. They’re conveniently found in four separate areas, all filled with story bits, lore, and all kinds of information for you to use and abuse. You’re also going to run into the Eternalists, the fodder enemies that aren’t the brightest. We also have Julianna, our arch-nemesis, but she’s a special topic I’ll address later.
But the main question everyone wants to know before buying a Deathloop game key: Is the game any fun? Well, the next part of this Deathloop PC game review goes over just that so keep reading.
(Sometimes) Planned chaos
Arkane Studios stay far away from their usual “slightly immersive sim” formula. Prey had limited ammo, equipment, and psi, so the player had to maximize their efficiency in order to survive. In Dishonored, you could kill a lot of people but then you’d get a horrible ending. And doing stealthy “ghost runs” required a lot of patience and quick saving.
Arkane said to hell with all that in Deathloop, stripped away your quicksave, removed non-lethal options completely, and presented you with one option: Dive deep into pure chaos and primal slaughter until there’s no one left standing.
Arkane Studios had an idea with Deathloop and its time rewinding mechanic. You will end up in a slaughter-fest sooner or later. The bodies transform into glowing dust when they’re killed and you can’t move them. So the stealthy route is possible for a while.
Abusing info gained from each loop
Your main focus is information. The Visionaries you have to kill have behavior patterns. And since you have to take them all out in one day that’s segmented into the morning, noon, afternoon, and evening, you need to know everyone’s habits. So you can manipulate them and lead them to where you want them to be.
Uncover leads and abuse them. See, you and one person get to keep their memories after the day loops. Others have no idea what happened in the previous loop. So their behavior remains the same and now you know what everyone does. Use that knowledge to manipulate your foes and lure them into a deadly chain of carnage.
You might be confused now, but it’s understandable. Deathloop toys with the idea of being a full stealth game or an all-out shooter. But the mechanics nudge you toward a middle path. You won’t do a full stealth run and you can’t just outgun everyone in the area. However, each failed run gives you more info about the rooms, how they’re connected, where enemies are, what they’re doing, and so on. All that lets you plan out the next run more carefully. It will still end up being one chaotic shootout but one that you masterfully planned for. At least in most cases.
Progression in a time loop
Colt starts each day with the most basic of guns. Yet, soon enough players get the ability to infuse items so they’re carriable between loops. A resource called Residuum allows for that. Unlocking new equipment is possible as well, but the best guns, trinkets, and slabs are found on Visionaries.
Furthermore, Arkane doesn’t let you become a powerhouse in Deathloop. As in most, I went into my powerplay mode for this Deatloop PC game review, but it wasn’t possible. No no no, the number of slabs and weapons is limited. See something new and cool? You have to swap one of your equipped items for it. And you only get them back at the start of your next loop thanks to the infusion mechanic.
Let’s talk about the game’s tools and abilities more, since they seem quite familiar….
A familiar set of tools and abilities
I did expect a lot of Deathloop PC reviews to mention the similarities between this game and Dishonored. The blink, the trinkets, and so on. Above all, I personally both hate and love how much of Dishonored there is in Deathloop.
If you’ve played Dishonored, you’ll notice a lot of Q’s gadgets. One device lets you hack security sensors and turrets. One kind of bomb can be morphed into a tripwire, a grenade, or even a landmine. Useful little items, but we all know the magic lies in the Slabs, abilities quite similar to the gifts Outsider gives you.
Excuse me, waiter, there’s a lot of Dishonored in my Deathloop
While you can’t turn into a rat in Deathloop, you can Blink. Well, it’s called Shift in this game. Move rapidly over rooftops, crowded places, and over everything basically with ease. Then we have another move called Nexus, which is Domino from Dishonored 2. It links everyone and then what happens to one person happens to them all.
Karnesis is Dishonored Pull, a telekinesis move for you to throw people or throw stuff at people. Then you have Aether which makes you invisible, and Havoc that turns you into Hulk, increasing your damage and reducing incoming damage.
The game also lets you upgrade these by constantly killing the Visionaries and constantly picking up their Slabs. Each modification expands on the power and adds a unique twist to it.
You can make it so the invisibility Aether Slab doesn’t break when you fire. Which is crazy strong. Modding the Havoc Slab with Euphoria makes you do more damage as you take damage. A Karnesis Slab modification lets you slam enemies down. Using a Parasite modification on Nexus heals you when connected enemies take damage, Then there’s Shift with all its modifications being awesome so I won’t talk about them.
Even the guns feel quite satisfying to use. SMGs, shotguns, all pack a punch and have a solid recoil. Nothing too realistic but enough to feel like you’re wielding an actual rifle. Maybe it’s because Arkane co-developed Wolfenstein: Youngblood, which despite being horrible at most things, still had solid gunplay.
The time travel shenanigans
Want to know more about the story in this Deathloop PC game review? Well, you shouldn’t, as it’s a mystery that’s interesting enough for you to uncover on your own. Yet, I will tell you a bit about the people stuck in this time loop, which includes you as Colt.
Only a couple know that the time loop happens
You see, you get to actually utilize time resetting. Colt remembers everything in the next loop. His enemies, aside from two individuals, don’t. Those poor wealthy bastards stand at the gate of immortality, not even knowing that each day they’re living through is the first one being replayed over and over again. Of course, that lets these people engage in all kinds of insane activities. They know they can’t die as time repeats, but since their memory resets as well, that one guy won’t remember being shot into the sky with a canon. That was pretty amusing, I’ll give the game that.
No matter how many crazy things these people try, they’re stuck in place and they don’t know it. It’s kind of horrifying when you think about it. Doesn’t all that sound like a purgatory of some kind? Doomed to repeat the same day, over and over again, without knowing it’s repeating? Is that what’s it like to be insanely rich? So much that you already did everything that you can do in this life and you just end up repeating all of it? Spooky.
The cat-and-mouse dynamic
Alas, one lady knows everything about the time travel in Deathloop. That’s Julianna, and she wants Colt to admit that he’s relishing his time spent on Blackreef. Causing destruction and carnage every time he resets is something he should enjoy, since he’s aware of it unlike everyone else. In other words, become more like her and give in to your most sadistic desires.
Not to say she’s especially evil or anything. Deathloop presents Julianna as someone that loves the thrill of the hunt. Her job is to keep the loop going and protect it by killing Colt. It’s a special cat-and-mouse relationship with two excellently written characters. Why are they aware of the loop? Is there something more to their relationship? That I can’t spoil. But I can talk about Deathloop’s PvP aspect.
Deathloop’s PvP with Julianna
Now, I know many won’t buy a Deathloop Steam key because the game has PvP. Don’t worry, it’s optional and you can turn it off or only let friends invade your games as Julianna. Man, I wish I had friends so that I could dedicate a part of this Deathloop PC game review to where my friend played as Julianna and I was Colt and it was all cool as heck. Sadly, I have no friends so let’s move on…
Why is Julianna important to this time looping story?
But, who is Julianna? She’s the one that’s here only to hunt you down and kill you. When she’s controlled by another player she can be quite a beast. But when I play her the Colt in question abuses Shift and Aether and kills me pretty quickly. Maybe I’ve just been unlucky but playing as Julianna wasn’t as fun. You unlock cool things for your main game by playing her, like crazy skins for your weapons and things like that.
Playing against her felt much better. It’s obvious the game gives Colt the edge. Even some weapons and slab modifications end up custom-tailored for her, as they’re too specific for dealing with NPCs. It adds a ton of tension to any game, as Julianna when she’s controlled by another player brings a ton of chaos you can’t prepare for.
Julianna isn’t that much of a threat when the AI controls her
It’s fun as hell, but if she’s controlled by the AI, it’s meh. The AI, in general, is quite lousy but since this game is mostly about the player pulling off the sickest executions, AI being smart wouldn’t play a big role anyway. But oh boy is every NPC in this game dumb as bricks.
Going back to Deathloop’s unique PvP with Julianna, she has a few nasty tricks up her sleeve. For instance, she seals the exists when she arrives. To get out, you need to hack a radio tower. Her tripwires and landmines are a problem, along with her ability to rally a mob of dumb NPCs to hunt you down.
There’s a limit to Julianna’s invades, so that players don’t get griefed by high-level players constantly appearing.
Conclusion of this Deathloop PC game review
It’s not Dishonored or Prey, but it’s a bunch of fun. Isn’t that what games are supposed to be these days? With stellar environment design, smooth gameplay, excellent gunplay, and a mysterious time looping plot centered around two masterfully written characters.
The AI is dumb, most trinkets and powers come straight from Dishonored, and there are little to no “immersive sim” elements if that’s what you’re looking for. At its core, Deathloop is a roguelike shooter with fun gameplay mechanics, an interesting story, and an intriguing PvP system.
It’s the least infuriating Arkane game as well, so you can see it as them breaking into the mainstream with their formula. And it works, as everyone can play Deathloop and enjoy it thoroughly. Oh, and the stuttering issues everyone says happen because of Denuvo’s DRM (we already know how people fix this problem) are being investigated right now. While I ran into some minor stuttering, it was nothing major but a lot of players are reporting these issues on PC.
But where do you get a Deathloop game key? After all, a Deathloop Steam key won’t be cheap, as this is a triple-A title that was just released. Not to worry, HRK Game’s got you covered. Head on down for the last and most important part of this Deathloop PC game review!
Where to find the cheapest Deathloop PC game key
I know I know, a Deathloop Steam key costs €59.99. A hefty price that accompanies all triple-A titles. And it’s no small amount of money either. But you want to try Arkane’s latest stealth-teleporting-murder simulator right now. So what do you do? You let us give you a helping hand!
Need a discounted Deathloop Steam key? No worries, we’re currently offering a -36% discount for anyone that’s looking to buy the game. Oh, you want to buy Deathloop – Deluxe Edition? The one that costs a whopping €79.99? Doesn’t matter, HRK Game is currently selling the Deluxe Edition, -33% off!
For fans of other Arkane games, you’ll see that Dishonored, Dishonored 2, and Prey are all sitting with fat discounts hanging around their price tag.